Thread: A question about MacVim vs other text editors...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    A question about MacVim vs other text editors...


    I'm beginning to learn C as the first language (no previous programming experiecen whatsoever). I currently have installed XCode, TextWrangler, Macvim. As a self-taught beginner who learns C as a hobby, should I use Xcode, TextWrangler or Macvim/Terminal?

    I find Terminal quite interesting as I can learn gradually basic commands, but the author of the book I'm using never mentions Terminal or any other text editor; instead, he recommends Xcode, even though his books is obviously a book for beginners (as compared to many other books). When I do programs in Xcode, it seems to me that everything is there, ready made (text coloring, text highlights for keywords, etc...).

    My plan is to have a working knowledge of C first before moving to C++ which is applied widely to my field of study. I don't have an ambition of becoming a well-versed programmer as I understand that it takes so many years of hard work, effort, etc... Also, most of the competent programmers have begun working with a computer since an early age. I'm not young and already have taken a career path that's very different from programming. But I do like programming stuffs and IT stuffs now.

    I don't have time to go to programming courses because I already have to take my econ courses. So the only way is to choose self-study.

    Can you recommend an appropriate approach for a newbie like me?

    Thanks so much for your time and valuable help!

  2. #2
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    segmentation fault
    Well if "MacVim" has anything to do with vim the choice is obvious.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  3. #3
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    My plan is to have a working knowledge of C first before moving to C++ which is applied widely to my field of study.
    May I strongly recommend you reconsider this plan? While C is syntactically pretty much a subset of C++, conceptually it's a very different language. C++ provides many features that make its use simpler and more (programmer time) efficient than C.
    All the buzzt!

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  4. #4
    Kernel hacker
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Farncombe, Surrey, England
    I'm sure there is Emacs for MacOS too. I personally prefer Emacs way over vi(m), but saying that to MK27 is probably like suggesting to a devout catholic that he should marry his daughter to a protestant...

    However, Xcode is probably the most complete IDE - and if you are a beginner, an IDE where you use the same application to write the code, compile the code and debug the code is probably the most simple-to-learn case. If you use a standalone editor, then you need to build the code on the command-line, then use a standalone debugger to find out why your code isn't doing what you expect, etc.

    And I also agree with CornedBee that when your goal is to learn C++, you should NOT start by learning C. Knowing some basic C is certainly not a bad thing, but if C++ is your goal, then C++ is what you must learn. And learning C to become good at C++ is like learning Spanish because you want to learn Italian - yes, of course, if you ALREADY know Spanish, learning Italian would be a bit easier - but learning Spanish will also teach you a lot of "bad habits" that don't translate directly to Italian.

    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

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